7 Tips to Get Rid of That Bad Car Smell

A pleasant driving experience can be turned into an unpleasant one just because of the foul odors of your car. Whether it’s from spilled food, cigarette smoke, or other sources, addressing the source of the smell is necessary to cure it. In this article, we’ll explore seven tips to help you get rid of that bad car smell and make your time on the road more enjoyable.

1. Deep Clean the Interior

Start by giving your car’s interior a thorough cleaning. Remove any trash, clutter, and items that may be contributing to the odor. Vacuum the seats, floor mats, and carpets to remove dirt and debris. Wipe down surfaces with a suitable cleaner to clean out any invisible bacteria that may be causing the smell. Pay special attention to areas where spills may have occurred, such as cup holders and the glove compartment.

2. Ventilation

On a sunny day, leave your car windows and doors open to allow fresh air to move through the interior. This will help in reducing any unknown odors and freshen up the space. Also, consider using a car freshener or placing an open box of baking soda in your car overnight to absorb unwanted smells.

3. Odor-Absorbers

Invest in odor-absorbing products to get rid of unrecognized bad smells in your car. Activated charcoal bags are a popular choice as they naturally absorb odors without the use of harsh chemicals. Place these bags strategically throughout your car, focusing on areas with the most persistent smells. Replace or recharge the bags as needed to maintain their effectiveness.

4. Steam Clean

For odors embedded in the upholstery, considering steam cleaning can be a good option. Steam cleaning not only helps to remove stains but also kills germs that may be causing unpleasant smells. You can rent a steam cleaner or hire a professional detailing service to clean your car’s interior thoroughly.

6. Air Filters

A dirty or clogged cabin air filter can contribute to unpleasant odors circulating through your car’s ventilation system. Regularly check and replace the cabin air filter according to your vehicle’s maintenance schedule. This simple maintenance task can significantly improve the air quality inside your car.

7. Smoke Smell

If your car smells of cigarette smoke, it can be particularly challenging to eliminate the odor as the smell can get into ducts and air conditioners. Begin by thoroughly cleaning all surfaces, including the headliner and air vents. Place an open box of baking soda or coffee in the car and sprinkle baking soda on the upholstery, letting it sit for a few hours before vacuuming. Consider using an ozone generator, a device designed to break down and neutralize odors, to remove persistent smoke smells.

8. Natural Air Fresheners

Go for natural air fresheners to combat bad car smells. Essential oils, such as lavender, peppermint, or tea tree oil, can be diluted in water and sprayed throughout your car. These oils not only provide a pleasant scent but also have antibacterial properties that can help eliminate odors from the root.


By following these seven tips, you can effectively eliminate bad odors in your car, creating a fresh and inviting driving environment. Regular maintenance, cleaning, and using natural fresheners will help ensure that your car remains a pleasant space for you and your passengers. However, maintaining this regularly can be difficult at times as buying and owning a car comes with various responsibilities. To eliminate such duties subscribe to Mylescars subscription plans at zero down payment. With Myles, you don’t need to worry about maintenance and insurance costs but enjoy your hassle-free journey.